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Review: The Mountaintop (Obsidian Theatre/Shaw Festval)

October 1st, 2014

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Mountaintop_0635_DC

Settling in at Daniels Spectrum, Aki Studio Theatre for Obsidian Theatre’s production of The Mountaintop, I found myself completely whisked away by the set and pre-show soundscape. Late sixties pop tunes play and rain outside a window throws eerie patterns on the wall of a darkened and dismal motel room. Segments of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech weave in and out. It is both comforting and ominous, this opening atmosphere crafted by Judith Bowden (set), Kevin Lamotte (lighting) and Freddy Gabrsek (sound). Read the rest of this entry »

An Invitation to Hold Mommy’s Cigarette: an interview with Shelley Marshall

October 1st, 2014

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Shelley Marshall performs her play Hold Mommy’s Cigarette in Toronto for Mental Illness Awareness Week

When Shelley Marshall suggested the interview take place at her Full Bawdy Loft, I didn’t realize until I arrived that it was, in fact, her loft; a lived-in space that she was inspired to adapt for the October run of her show Hold Mommy’s Cigarette.

The eclectic 1970’s inspired set dominated the room. She gave me a tour, showing me some props and describing the lighting design for her show, opening tomorrow. I felt like I was invited into her home, shown family trinkets, and invited to ask my questions. It’s not surprising Marshall has inspired others to open up about mental illness.

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Cheap Theatre for the Week of September 30th, 2014

September 30th, 2014

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Sometimes it can be fun to go see theatre that’s entirely based on the writer’s imagination – they might be set in the real world, but the characters and events are all made up. This week’s Cheap Theatre, however, is a collection of shows that take their inspiration from real-life individuals and/or events. And you’ll be inspired by the cost! It’ll cost only $25 or less to see any of these shows! Check out the list below.

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Review: Past Perfect/Le passé antérieur (Théâtre français de Toronto)

September 29th, 2014

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Past Perfect Albertine Alex

Théâtre français de Toronto presents Michel Tremblay’s play Past Perfect / Le passé antérieur

All talk, no action — that’s Past Perfect/Le passé antérieur by Michel Tremblay. Playing at the Théâtre français de Toronto, this French-language story about love lost offers English surtitles on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Geneviève Dufour plays Tremblay’s passionate, broken-hearted star character Albertine. Dumped by Alex, the man she longed to marry, Albertine can’t bear the fact that Alex is courting her younger, mild-mannered sister. Albertine is unhappy, and misery sure loves company. Everyone who crosses paths with Albertine — her mother Victoire, her sister Madeleine, her brother Edouard, her ex-boyfriend Alex — must be made painfully aware of every single tear she has shed. Read the rest of this entry »

Play Listings for the Week of September 29th

September 29th, 2014

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It’s the last week of September – and the first week of October! Looking for some theatre to watch as the month switches? Here’s a list of shows playing in Toronto this week. Anything in red with two asterisks in front of it comes highly recommended by our Editor, Samantha.

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Review: Rebel Without A Cosmos (The Second City)

September 29th, 2014

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The Second City Toronto opens its Fall 2014 Mainstage show Rebel Without A Cosmos

It’s that time of year again; the weather gets crisper, the kids go back to school and The Second City, that stalwart institution of comedy, debuts its annual Fall Mainstage revue. This newest edition is called Rebel Without a Cosmos.

The Second City’s Mainstage revues rely on a tried-and-true formula. It’s strictly middle brow humour; topical without being specifically timely, satirical but never incredibly biting or edgy (beyond dropping an occasional F-bomb) and safe enough for corporate hospitality groups and tourist bus tours. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Bloody Family (The Theatre Centre/Philip McKee + Tanja Jacobs)

September 28th, 2014

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The Theatre Centre presents updated Greek mythology-inspired play Bloody Family in Toronto

War destroys families. And people who haven’t lived through the horrors of war can’t hope to understand the true pain of that. That was my main takeaway from The Theatre Centre’s production of Bloody Family, a modern take on the ancient Greek trilogy, The Orestia.

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A Statement from Factory Theatre and Their 14/15 Partners

September 26th, 2014

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From press release

Factory Theatre, with the unanimous support from this season’s partners, is attempting to redefine what “opening night” means by considering what the artists want from it, and what the audience deserves from it, not just what tradition dictates it should be.

Beginning with The Art of Building a Bunker, we have decided to offer working members of the media complimentary tickets to a media night on October 21 (three performances after opening night), and for the length of the run as long as tickets are available. Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: TUDS – Toronto Urban Dance Culture Festival (Gadfly)

September 26th, 2014

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Toronto Urban Dance Culture Festival

TUDS – The Toronto Urban Dance Culture Festival celebrates the street dance scene in Toronto

It’s hard to find sometimes if you don’t know where to look for it, but Toronto’s street dance scene is as lively as it’s ever been. Popping into its fifth year, TUDS is Toronto’s own celebration of all things urban dance running from September 24-28. A festival with a full lineup of street and urban dance culture elements, TUDS has expanded to five days of impressive productions, intense battles, heart-pumping workshops and engaging open discussions.

Created and produced by GadflyTUDS has become an annual gathering of some of Canada’s forefront dance artists specializing in every variety of street dance you could want. The festival kicks off with Gadfly’s anniversary and a debate about urban dance and concludes with the Gadfly Awards, honouring Canada’s breakout urban dance artists, productions and industry trailblazers.

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Review: elsewhere (adelheid)

September 26th, 2014

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JeremyMimnagh

 

Toronto choreographer’s latest dance work elsewhere is playing at the Harbourfront Centre

Acclaimed Toronto choreographer Heidi Strauss’s latest work elsewhere, which debuted this week at the Harbourfront Centre, is almost there. It’s right at the edge, leaning out into the dark, grasping for something that keeps slipping away.

That’s how the performers put it, anyway, in a few short, poetic soliloquies interspersed throughout the performance. “It’s extremely close,” says dancer Molly Johnson, with the expression of someone trying to remember something beautiful. “You feel it… because you’re in it.”

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